Former Vice President Joe Biden has officially announced his third bid for the presidency in a video released at 6 am on Thursday morning.
Biden now joins 19 other Democrats seeking their party’s nomination to take on President Trump in his re-election effort in 2020.
From the Washington Examiner:
A 2020 presidential bid has hung over Biden since he opted out of the 2016 primary race, won by former secretary of state, senator and first lady Hillary Clinton. Since Clinton’s upset loss to Republican opponent Donald Trump, Biden has grown in esteem among many Democrats, who contend he could have better appealed to the white working-class and rural voters who helped decide that election.
Biden in his announcement video took direct aim at Trump over the president’s response to the August 2017 “Unite the Right” rally Charlottesville, Va. The gathering of neo-Confederates, neo-fascists, white nationalists and others was ostensibly to protest removal of Conferederate monuments. But amid rising tensions, about a half-mile from the rally site, a protester against the hate groups, Heather Heyer, was killed. Self-identified white supremacist James Alex Fields Jr. pleaded guilty to 29 federal crimes in exchange for federal prosecutors’ agreement not to seek the death penalty.
“Charlottesville, Virginia is home to one of the great documents in human history,” Biden opens the announcement video. “We know it by heart.”
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,” Biden said, quoting the Declaration of Independence. “We’ve heard it so often, it’s almost a cliche but it’s who we are. We haven’t always lived up to these ideals—Jefferson himself didn’t, but we have never before walked away from them.”
“Charlottesville has also been home to a defining moment for this nation in the last few years,” Biden said as the video shows scenes of white supremacists marching through the city. “It was there on Augusts of 2017 that we saw klansmen and white supremacists and neo-Nazis come out in the open.”
“They chanted the same anti-Semitic vile heard across Europe in the 1930s,” Biden said. He went on to describe that another group rose up and a clash unfolded, resulting in the death of Heather Heyer. “That’s when we heard the words of the President of the United States that stunned the world and shocked the conscience of this nation. He said quote: ‘There were some very fine people on both sides.'”
“In that moment, I knew the threat against our nation was unlike any I had seen in my lifetime,” Biden contended before announcing his intention to oppose Trump in 2020.
“If we give Donald Trump eight years in the White House, he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation. I cannot stand by and watch that happen,” Biden concluded.
“The core values of this nation, our standing in the world, our very democracy, everything that has made America — America — is at stake. That’s why today I’m announcing my candidacy for President of the United States,” Biden said in a tweet accompanying his video.
According to a statement from ABC News, former President Obama praised Biden amid the announcement for his work serving as the vice president but stopped short of endorsing him to win the Democratic primary.
“President Obama has long said that selecting Joe Biden as his running mate in 2008 was one of the best decisions he ever made. He relied on the Vice President’s knowledge, insight, and judgment throughout both campaigns and the entire presidency. The two forged a special bond over the last 10 years and remain close today,” Katie Hill, Obama spokesperson said via ABC News.
Here’s more, from the Washington Examiner:
The loquacious former senator from Delaware, making his third presidential bid, joins the fray with the highest name recognition in the field. But his relative late entry, at least by 2019 standards, means rival Democratic candidates have been able to nip at his heels to some effect, polls show.
Biden’s entry into the 2020 race is the latest in a decadeslong quest for the White House. Biden wrote in his 2007 memoir that he pondered a presidential run as far back as 1980 when Democratic party heavyweights begged the rising star to join the primary fight raging between President Jimmy Carter and Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Mass., who challenged the incumbent from the left.
Biden didn’t jump in and passed up a 1984 presidential bid. But he did run in the 1988 cycle. However, his campaign imploded in September 1987 amid plagiarism charges and Biden dropped out. Biden considered several more presidential bids and finally ran again in 2008. By that time, though, he had been eclipsed by national Democratic figures like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama — the latter choosing him as his running mate.
The 76-year-old is one of the oldest in the field, just a year younger than independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and decades older than one of the field’s fastest rising stars, South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, is 37.